The Alaska Citizen's Guide to the Budget

What is Included in These Spending Numbers?

The U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) definition of spending (Direct General Expenditures) includes essentially all government outlays or money that "hits the street" during the year. It excludes utility, liquor store, and insurance trust fund expenditures (unemployment insurance payments and public employee retirement payments).

Outlays are not the same as either appropriations or expenditures, as defined in the State of Alaska government accounts. In particular, outlays excludes transfers among funds (inflation proofing of the Permanent Fund is treated as an expenditure in the state budget but is not included in the USDC number). In addition, outlays includes interest payments of all state entities (AHFC and AIDEA interest payments are included in the USDC data but not in the state budget). Outlays includes capital expenditures financed by bonds but excludes repayment of principal on the associated bonded debt when it is retired (thus avoiding double counting), and it excludes loans.

Because they provide a consistent framework across states, the USDC numbers are a useful source for comparison.


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Page updated November 14, 2002

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